Short History Of The World Part 4

So far in the World History series we have covered what is commonly termed as pre-history. See – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

The definition of pre-history is the period before written recorded history and based on research, archaeology and legend.

Recorded History dates to the invention of writing – therefore I think it is appropriate to start this section with the Sumerians who are historically recognized as the first people to use writing in the true sense.

There is a great deal of information about the Sumerians and Sumer if you want to check it out in detail at:

The city states of Sumer

Fig 1, The city states of Sumer


The city states of Sumer [see map above Fig 1] are mostly within the land bounded by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. In today’s modern maps, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is named Iraq. [See Fig 2].


Fig 2: Iraq


In the old world it was also known as Mesopotamia. [See Fig 3]


Fig 3


Many creation stories, worldwide refer to the area around the Euphrates River as the site where man was created. Including the Garden of Eden, Genesis chapter 2.

The Garden of Eden was East of Eden and although there is much debate as to where Eden was actually located, I think it was where Old Jerusalem now stands.

Firstly we must consider that the geological lay of the land has changed since the time of the flood.

Where there are present day deserts, once there was lush vegetation. Rivers have been diverted, reformed and dried up completely.

Firstly let’s look at the rivers described in Genisis Chapter 2:

“And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.”

The Rivers of Genisis 2

Fig 4


In Fig 4 I have drawn a very rough approximation of the rivers as they may have once appeared.

I suspect the river “Hiddekel” to be the Tigris as the Tigris goes forth to the East of Assyria.

The Euphrates River is still known as the Euphrates today.

The Pison River dried up a long time ago but there is geographical evidence of a river bed that passes through the land of gold as described in the bible.

The Gihon Springs remarkably, still exist today adjacent to the City of Old Jerusalem in Israel = “And a river went out of Eden.”

Today the head waters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are in Turkey but before the flood it is quite possible that the headwaters of these rivers originated in Israel [Palestine].

There is evidence of a rift that runs North East of Lebanon into Israel, through the Dead Sea, the Red Sea and into Ethiopia. Today the River Jordan runs along part of this pathway. I believe this to be the old bed of the River of Gihon originating at the Gihon Springs in Jerusalem.


Gihon river path

Fig 5

At any rate, what is commonly acknowledged is that Eridu the first temple city of the Sumarians is the oldest known seat of civilization, evidenced not only by Archaeology, but by the written word.




Eridu, now known as Tell Abu Shahrain, Dhi Qar Governorate, Iraq.

According to the Sumerian kinglist Eridu was the first city in the World. The opening line reads,


            “[nam]-lugal an-ta èd-dè-a-ba

            [eri]duki nam-lugal-la”


            “When kingship from heaven was lowered,

            the kingship was in Eridu.”


Kings List

Fig 7 The Kings List


In Sumerian mythology, it was said to be one of the five cities built before the Deluge occurred.

Eridu appears to be the earliest settlement in the region, founded ca. 5400 BC, close to the Persian Gulf near the mouth of the Euphrates River. Because of accumulation of silt at the shoreline over the millennia, the remains of Eridu are now some distance from the gulf at Abu Shahrain in Iraq.

Eridu as it might have been

Fig 8 Eridu as envisioned by Balage Balogh.

We will continue in World History part 5.

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